HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) —  A new and diverse coalition of organizations across the Commonwealth was launched to raise awareness and to push for legislation that will support increased gun safety laws and save lives.

“Too many Pennsylvanians are dying and being injured by firearms,” said Sami Kamal Jarrah, MPH, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia. “We know that sensible solutions exist, and Pennsylvanians both want and need them but their voices are not being heard. We want to raise those voices and find the solutions needed to save lives across the Commonwealth.” 

Pennsylvania has some of the highest rates of gun violence in the country. From 2008 to 2017, Pennsylvania had the 18th highest rate of gun murders in the United States, and a gun homicide occurred every 17 hours. From 2014 to 2018, there were 69 mass shootings in Pennsylvania that killed 77 people and injured 259*. 

The Coalition, composed of organizations ranging from healthcare, public health, issue advocacy, the faith community, and others plan to take an evidence based, focused approach to increasing gun safety laws and advocating for increased accountability.  

For more information, please visit https://www.pasafetyalliance.org/

* The Center for American Progress, Pennsylvania Gun Violence